Manufacturers detail recession survival strategies in new survey

October 13, 2009

In a new survey conducted in late July by the sponsors of the upcoming FABTECH® International & AWS Welding Show, including METALFORM, in Chicago, 1,046 manufacturers detail their recession survival strategies.

To survive what many view as the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, 69 percent of manufacturers indicated they reduced their work force, followed by delaying capital expenditures (66 percent), negotiating with suppliers for better deals (48 percent), and cutting promotional activities (37 percent).

However, with signs that the economy currently is improving, those surveyed plan to reverse downsizing; nearly one-third of those surveyed said they expect to add to their work force in the next 12 months. Manufacturers reported an increase in demand in product as the leading factor that would prompt an increase to the work force (78 percent), followed by the opportunity to upgrade work force (7 percent) and the need for new skill sets (6 percent).

"As manufacturers look for signs of improvement in their business, it's vital that they prepare for the economic recovery," said Mark Hoper, FABTECH show manager. "History shows that it's the period immediately following a recession that offers the most opportunity for businesses. The FABTECH International & AWS Welding Show, including METALFORM, is timed to provide manufacturers with solutions and strategies to take advantage of the economic turnaround and operate a more efficient and competitive business."

Taking place Nov. 15-18, FABTECH is expected to draw some 35,000 attendees and 1,000 exhibitors to Chicago's McCormick Place. Co-sponsored by the American Welding Society (AWS), Fabricators & Manufacturers Association Intl. (FMA), Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), and Precision Metalforming Association (PMA), it is the largest tradeshow in North America dedicated to showcasing a full spectrum of metal forming, fabricating, stamping, tube and pipe, and welding equipment and technology.

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